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how many oscars has peter jackson won,
Peter Jackson’s last film in the epic Lord of the rings trilogy, The return of the king, won all 11 Oscars it was nominated for at the 76th Academy Awards in Los Angeles. This set a record for the largest clean sweep and equalled the highest number of Oscars, achieved by Ben Hur (1959) and Titanic (1997).
It was the first time the Academy Awards had recognised a fantasy film as Best Picture. Jackson remarked, ‘I’m so honoured, touched, and relieved that the Academy … has seen past the trolls, the wizards and the hobbits, recognising fantasy this year.’
who is peter jackson?
Peter Jackson was born in Pukerua Bay, New Zealand,
a small seaside town not far from the country’s capital city, Wellington. An only child, Jackson’s imagination was inspired by a picturesque coastline of cliffs and caves. At an early age, he was captivated by the television series Thunderbirds. With its marionettes, futuristic vehicles and ingenious special effects, it fed his interest in science fiction and model building. By age nine he had commandeered the family’s home movie camera to make his own short films, trying to reproduce the special effects he loved. His imagination received another powerful stimulus when he first saw the 1933 film King Kong on television. The next morning, he began experimenting with the stop-motion animation technique that had so excited him in the movie.
For the rest of his childhood and adolescence he continued to make short films, devising his own special effects, and painstakingly animating models inspired by the fantastic monsters he admired in the films of the American animator and director Ray Harryhausen. At 16, he dropped out of school and took a job as apprentice engraver in a newspaper’s photography department,
living with his parents to save money for camera equipment and film.
When he acquired his first 16mm camera,
he set out to make a short film to familiarize himself with the equipment. This project, a tongue-in-cheek science fiction horror fantasy called Bad Taste, gradually grew into a full-length feature film. The project would consume four years of his life. While his contemporaries were going to university or embarking on more conventional careers, Jackson continued to labor every weekend on his project. He wrote, directed and photographed the film, building all of the models and special effects, playing multiple roles, including the lead, and recruited neighbors and friends to fill out the cast.
A grant from the New Zealand Film Commission enabled Jackson to quit his day job while he edited and scored his homemade feature. To his surprise, the Commission decided to send Jackson’s film to the 1987 Cannes Film Festival. Astonishingly, Bad Taste, with its amateur actors and improvised special effects, charmed the festival goers, and Jackson landed deals to distribute the film commercially in 12 countries.
Fresh from his triumph at Cannes, Jackson returned home as a certified professional filmmaker. New Zealand’s film industry was still in its infancy, but the head of the country’s film commission,
James Booth, had faith in Jackson’s talent, and formed a partnership to produce Jackson’s next two features. The partners followed up the surprise success of Bad Taste with a raunchy puppet film, Meet the Feebles (1990). Like Bad Taste, Meet the Feebles acquired a cult following. Jackson’s first professional live action feature, Braindead (released as Dead Alive in the United States), established him on the international scene as an accomplished director of horror films, one with a refreshingly giddy sense of humor. As Jackson assembled a team of trusted collaborators, he co-founded a production facility, Weta Workshop, to provide special effects for his films.
Professional Film Career
Following the success of Bad Taste, in 1989 Jackson made a raunchy puppet film called Meet the Feebles that critics alternatively found repulsive and hilarious; it developed a devoted cult following. In 1993, he released his first professional live action film, Braindead (released as Dead Alive in the United States), which won considerable acclaim among horror movie aficionados, despite being one of the goriest films ever made.
Jackson broke out into decidedly different territory as the screenwriter and director of the 1994 film Heavenly Creatures, a disturbing dramatization of a famous New Zealand matricide case from the 1950s. Starring a then-unknown actress named Kate Winslet, Heavenly Creatures earned Jackson an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay.
how many oscars has peter jackson won
Jackson followed up with Meet the Feebles (1989), which features puppets and people in animal suits engaging in the seamier aspects of human behaviour, and the zombie film Braindead (1992; U.S. title, Dead Alive), which won numerous international science fiction awards and was said by some to be the goriest film ever made. He then turned to a real-life incident for Heavenly Creatures (1994), about two teenage girls who kill one girl’s mother; the film starred Kate Winslet in her first major role. Its screenplay garnered Academy Award nominations for Jackson and Frances Walsh, his partner. The mock documentary Forgotten Silver (1995) and the ghost story The Frighteners (1996) followed.
For The Lord of the Rings, Jackson took the unprecedented step of shooting all three installments of the fantasy saga simultaneously, over a 15-month period in New Zealand. In addition to directing the films, he also cowrote the screenplays. The three movies—The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002), and The Return of the King (2003)—were both critically and commercially successful. Jackson received Academy Awards for best director and for best adapted screenplay (which he shared with Walsh and Philippa Boyens) for The Return of the King, which won a total of 11 Oscars, including best picture.
A huge payoff
Jackson understood from the beginning that he had a dual purpose with these films. He felt a tremendous obligation to remain faithful to the books, knowing the intense devotion felt by many Tolkien fans. He also knew, however,
that the films had to entertain and make sense to moviegoers who had not read the books. At the film’s Web site, Jackson recalled that he, Walsh, and Boyens combed through the books when writing the screenplay; in addition,
“every time we shot a scene, I reread that part of the book right before, as did the cast.
It was always worth it, always inspiring.” The first part, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring came out in December of 2001 to great acclaim. Not only were most Tolkien fans impressed by the care Jackson lavished on the film,
but millions who had not read the books—and many who had no interest in the fantasy genre—were entranced as well.
A huge payoff
The film earned more than $850 million at the box office worldwide and garnered numerous award nominations and several victories. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers was released one year later, in December of 2002. Despite the challenges of the second film—which starts abruptly where part one left off and ends without any tidy sense of resolution— The Two Towers succeeded phenomenally. Its worldwide earnings exceeded $900 million, and it too received a number of important awards.
Before the release of the third installment, expectations soared. When Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King came out in December of 2003, millions of fans breathed a sigh of relief. The conclusion of the trilogy proved as engrossing as the first two segments,
and many reviewers wrote of its intense emotional impact. At the film’s Web site, Jackson acknowledged the satisfying sense of closure the final film gives: “The journeys these characters have been on,
what they care about, what they’ve been fighting for,
what some of their friends have died for, all leads to the events in The Return of the King.
how many oscars has peter jackson won,
” As many expected, Return of the King swept the 2004 Academy Awards,
winning the Oscar in every category in which it had been nominated, including best picture,
best director, best adapted screenplay, and best visual effects. The film also won best director and other awards at
the Golden Globes ceremony and from the British Academy of Film and Television Awards (BAFTA).
In the midst of the release cycle for the three Lord of the Rings films,
Jackson was often asked by journalists what project he would tackle next. He generally replied that he and Walsh
were looking forward to working on another small film on the order of Heavenly Creatures. But when the offer came
for him to direct a remake of King Kong, hardly a “small film,” Jackson could not refuse.
The original 1933 version was the movie that had made Jackson decide,
at the age of nine, to become a filmmaker. He had been offered the chance to direct a King Kong remake once before,
in the mid-1990s, but funding had fallen through. When the chance came along again, he leaped at it. Having traveled with him to Middle-earth and back, millions of Jackson fans eagerly anticipated the next ride.